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How To Increase Motivation when Depressed

Depression can be a powerful force, sapping your motivation and draining your energy. It can make it difficult to get out of bed, let alone tackle the tasks and goals of daily life. But, it is possible to regain your motivation and get back on track. 

This article will explore the common causes of depressed motivation, strategies for increasing motivation when depressed, and self-care tips for dealing with depression.

Defining Depression

Depression can be difficult to manage, negatively impacting your motivation. While depression is a mental disorder, it can be caused by various factors, including stress, hormonal imbalances, and genetics.

It is essential to understand what depression is and the common causes of depressed motivation to find ways to increase motivation when depressed. 

Depression is more than just feeling sad or having a bad day. It is a serious medical condition that can last for weeks or months. It is characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and difficulty concentrating. 

People with depression may also experience feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness.

Common Causes of Depressed Motivation

Common causes of depressed motivation can vary from person to person. Still, some of the most common include feeling overwhelmed, lacking a sense of purpose or direction, and dealing with financial, occupational, or relationship stress. 

Other possible causes include physical pain, guilt, sleep deprivation, and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

It’s important to note that if you think you might be depressed, it’s a good idea to seek professional help to identify and address the underlying causes of your depression. 

Once you’ve identified why you might feel down, you can look for ways to increase your motivation. It can be helpful to break down tasks into smaller, more achievable goals and to focus on the present moment. 

Having support from family, friends, and counselors can be beneficial. Finally, taking time for self-care can help to reduce stress, increase motivation, and improve your overall mental health.

Strategies to Increase Motivation When Depressed

One of the best ways to increase motivation when depressed is to structure your day. 
Start by making a to-do list, and break it down into small, achievable tasks. This way, you can focus on one task at a time and track your progress. 

Breaking large tasks into smaller ones can help you feel more in control. When dealing with depression, it’s essential to focus on the present. If a job seems too daunting, break it down into smaller steps and focus on the present. 

Lastly, having supportive people around you can make a huge difference. Someone to help keep you accountable and provide reassurance can make all the difference.

Structure Your Day

Structuring your day is a great way to increase motivation when depressed. It can be as simple as setting a consistent wake-up time and going to bed simultaneously each night. 

You can also create a daily routine to help you stay organized and on track. This could include making your bed, getting dressed, and making time for meals. 

Planning time for physical activity or relaxation can structure your day, help you stay active, and reduce stress.

It can also be helpful to write down your tasks for the day, as this can help to prioritize and provide a sense of accomplishment when you check off items on your list.

How To Increase Motivation when Depressed

Set Small, Achievable Goals

Setting small, achievable goals is essential for increasing motivation when depressed. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by large tasks, making you feel like you have too much to do. 
Instead of tackling everything individually, try breaking it into smaller, more manageable tasks.

This way, you can focus on one small task at a time and work your way up. Additionally, set a specific daily goal, and reward yourself when you complete it. This will help motivate you and make you feel like you are progressing. 

Setting realistic expectations is critical. If the goal is too difficult, you will likely become discouraged and not want to continue. Take things one step at a time and gradually increase the difficulty of the tasks.

Break Large Tasks into Smaller Ones

Breaking large tasks into smaller ones is a great way to increase motivation when feeling depressed.

Breaking up a big goal into smaller, more achievable steps can help you progress and give you a sense of accomplishment. This can be especially helpful if the job is overwhelming and you feel stuck. 

Break the task into smaller pieces, then prioritize the most critical tasks. You might also consider breaking down tasks into manageable chunks of time, such as 15-minute increments. This will help you to stay focused and motivated to complete the job. 

Breaking down tasks can help you feel less overwhelmed and better tackle the job. When it comes to motivation, small successes can have a significant impact.

Focus on the Present

Focusing on the present is one of the best strategies to increase motivation when depressed. Keeping your attention on the here and now helps to keep your mind away from ruminating and negative thoughts

When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to become preoccupied with worries about the past or the future, which can be overwhelming and make it difficult to motivate yourself.

Paying attention to the present moment can help you break free from this cycle by allowing you to focus on what you can do right now to improve your situation. 

Start by taking a few minutes to observe your surroundings and notice whatever emotions or sensations arise. Then, take a few deep breaths, and direct your attention to the task at hand. 

Anchor yourself in the present moment; notice the sensation of your feet on the floor or the sound of the wind. This will help you to take a break from your worries and to focus on the task at hand.

Find Supportive People

Finding supportive people can make a big difference in helping you manage depression and increase your motivation. This can be friends, family, a therapist, or a support group. 

Find people who understand what you’re going through and can empathize with your situation. If you don’t have anyone who fits this description, consider joining an online support group. 

Having a safe space to express yourself, connect with others, and give and receive advice can be incredibly helpful.

Talking to a professional therapist can be instrumental in helping you find ways to cope with depression, build motivation, and regain an overall sense of well-being.

Self-Care Tips for Dealing with Depression

Self-care is a crucial element for helping to reduce symptoms of depression, and it’s essential to make sure that you are taking time for yourself each day. 

Taking a break from work, school, and other obligations can help to reduce stress and give you the time to focus on yourself. You can spend this time doing activities you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, walking, or spending time with friends and family. 

Taking care of your body is also essential. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep and rest can all help to improve your mood. 

Participating in activities that help to reduce stress, such as yoga or meditation, can help to reduce symptoms of depression and improve your mood. Seeking professional help can also be beneficial if you struggle to cope with depression or need extra support.


Dealing with depression can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. By understanding the causes of depression and developing strategies to increase motivation when depressed, we can take steps to improve our mental hea

Self-care is also essential to managing depression and reducing its impact on our lives. It’s important to remember that every person responds to depression differently, so be sure to find what works best for you. 

With the right help and support, you can break through the fog of depression and find a better way.


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